Thursday, May 24, 2012

Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves

P. G. Wodehouse is a carefree magician of a writer.  I just finished reading "Stiff Upper Lip, Jeeves."  Like many of his other works, this one also made me laugh out loud.

I don't read these books with a paper and pencil (though maybe I should), so I can't as readily share snippets I like.  But here's an effort that you might have a taste of Wodehouse.

When Jeeves deals with Wooster to give up his beloved, blue alpine hat with a pink feather (which Jeeves detests), Wooster describes it thus:
    I gave him the hat.  It made me feel like a father reluctantly throwing his child from the sledge to divert the attention of the pursuing wolf pack, as I believe happens all the time in Russia in the winter months, but what would you?

When Spode (who is big and angry) confronts Wooster about planning to steal something:
    "So I was right!"
    "In my suspicions."
    "They have been confirmed."
    'Stop saying 'Eh?', you miserable worm, and listen to me."
    I humoured him. ...the muscles of his brawny arms [were] just as much like iron bands as they had always been, and the way I looked at it was that if he wanted me to go easy on the word "Eh?" he had only to say so.
    Continuing... he said:
    "I happened to be passing through the hall just now."
    "I heard you talking on the telephone."
    "You were speaking to your aunt."
    "Don't keep saying 'Oh?', blast you."
    Well, these restrictions were making it a bit hard for me to hold up my end of the conversation, but there seemed nothing to be done about it.  I maintained a rather dignified silence, and he resumed his remarks.
    He snorted and said "Ha!" and I thought it a bit unjust that he should say "Ha!" if I wasn't allowed to say "Eh?" and "Oh?"  There should always be a certain give and take in these matters, or where are you?

Wooster to Jeeves:
    "Did you ever see a film called The Vanishing Lady, Jeeves?"
    "No, sir.  I rarely attend cinematographic performances."
    "Well, it was about a lady who vanished, if you follow what I mean..."

And many other very funny moments.  Read it.  You won't be disappointed.  Also, "Joy in the Morning" is another great read.

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